'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Thursday, November 26, 2009


In the park at night

A bright full moon above the park
Illuminates the empty lawns.
A summer day awaits the lark
Who ushers in the blushing dawns.

The sky can boast a star-filled cast,
Their act eclipsed by lunar rays.
Phil would like the night to last,
But soon he'll feel the sun's fierce gaze.

Night provides a hiding place.
A spacious hood conceals his head.
He wears his shades to shield his face
From eyes that should be closed in bed.

It's wise to wear disguises here
And use a pair of well-trained eyes.
Avoid the source of noises where
The trees conceal the skilful spies,

And shrubberies where trouble brews
To spoil the tranquil summer breeze,
Like submarines with ruffled crews
Who'll pummel ships on calm blue seas.

He sits and waits as stray cats stroll
Down concrete paths on nightly jaunts.
He brought a rose that plays its role
With petal clothes it brightly flaunts.

Louise will soon receive the rose.
His fears will fade into the black.
He loves the way she leaves their woes
Exposed to joy's intense attack.

She's indisputably unique,
Unlike his friends in many ways.
She goes to plays that seem too bleak
For him to bear on happy days.

She reads a lot. She feels a need
To feed her mind with knowledge found
In academic books that lead
Their readers into fertile ground.

She's not impressed by his new car,
Though his blue Porsche has many charms.
She likes the slow cars that go far
On fuel that's grown on local farms.

Louise is nothing like his ex
Who skis while in her model pose
And never falls. Louise elects
To wear out-dated, dreary clothes.

Being seen with her would blight
The reputation he has gained.
He'd rather meet her late at night
Than have his hard-won image stained.

This is why he sits and waits.
Fears are fostered in his head.
The creaking sound of rusting gates
Creates a sense of doom and dread.

A figure dressed in black arrives
To test his fast-declining will.
Visions of new graves and knives
Inflate the fear defining Phil.

Dark sunglasses hide the eyes,
But still a smile lights up the face.
Louise arises from her guise
And falls into their warm embrace.

He wonders why she wore these clothes
And chose to blend in with the night.
He thought she'd use a look that shows
Their love to everyone in sight.

He thought she'd want to shout about
This man she met who stole her heart.
He tries to clear his mind of doubt
And treasure time until they part.

Thursday, November 19, 2009



Whenever she feels it's a strain to stay standing
Andrea will dream of escape.
Coping with eight screaming kids is demanding,
More tiring than keeping an ape.

In dreamland ice creams don't mean trips to the cleaners,
A world free of crimes against homes,
Where lists of her miscreant kids' misdemeanours
Do not fill up numerous tomes,

Where good-humoured people have long conversations
In warm rooms with wood-burning stoves.
Floorboards are free of unsafe perforations
Where kids thought they'd find treasure troves.

Sleep isn't broken by junior ghost-busters
Applying their foul-smelling potion.
Dark eerie attics will never host clusters
Of kids on the verge of commotion.

Chefs who toast custard will clean up the mess.
Meal-times are conflict-free zones.
She isn't repeatedly asked to address
Requests for extravagant loans.

In dreamland she's no trouble falling asleep,
And dreams are not raided by dread,
And scenes of her home's rubble all in a heap,
While wrecking balls wait to be fed.

The lawns are much greener and winters are warmer
In dreamland where she'd like to linger.
But sadly reality calls to inform her
There's something attached to Mike's finger.

Mike's always putting his hands into places
Where insects or animals dwell.
He's a detective who only takes cases
That start with an unpleasant smell.

The twins always look like they're plotting and planning.
Andrea tries reading their minds.
She feels like she's been doing nothing but banning
Explosives and traps of all kinds.

They'd just reached the end of another school week,
And brought more dismay to their mother.
Amy and Alice displayed a cruel streak
When they played a trick on their brother.

They told Will a monster was secretly sleeping
Beneath all the junk in their shed.
He'd wake after dark and go stealthily creeping.
You'd still hear the clunk of his head.

His bucket-shaped head couldn't help make a racket
Because of loose parts made of metal.
His eye balls leaked oil that left stains on his jacket.
When angered he boiled like a kettle.

Will was afraid of the shed's latest menace,
This monster in search of food hampers,
A creature who'd eat your pet hamster called Dennis.
He hoped it would rather eat campers.

Will had to act to protect his small pet.
Attack was his form of defence.
Armed to the teeth he'd defeat this tall threat,
And make the bad monster past tense.

He entered the shed well before darkness fell,
And quietly took out the things
That would be good weapons. William could tell
What could become arrows or slings.

He took out the shovels, the pitchforks and spades,
The petrol can, hammers and rakes,
The shears and its gardening friends that had blades,
The ropes and the short timber stakes.

He made his own monster with various tools.
A pitchfork made up its right arm.
This furious thing would defeat any fools
In search of a new brand of harm.

He used a paint tin for the head of his creature.
He painted fierce eyes that were glaring.
He called it 'Miss Carter', after his teacher.
They shared facial features and bearing.

Will thought the monster would fear these proud eyes,
But after the dark had set in,
His creature fell over and made a loud noise.
Miss Carter would not stand again.

He felt sure the noise must have woken his foe.
The monster would be full of ire.
He panicked in dread of his imminent woe.
That's why he set their shed on fire.

Andrea has thought about buying a pet,
A present for Christmas this year.
Maybe an ape who would issue a threat,
Ensuring serene Christmas cheer.

She knows she's just dreaming. They'll show her they care.
Her anger will soon fade away.
They'll do something charming, disarming her glare.
They won't be alarming all day.

Her kids make her smile with their spirited wave,
And they'll entertain her, not rile her.
She'll cave in and get them the puppy they crave,
Maybe a friendly Rottweiler.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Norman's Fear of Mice

When Norman hears a mouse inside
  His house he'll scream incessantly.
As soon as he's identified
  The source of his distress he'll flee.

He'll wake up all the neighbours
  And he'll run in circles on the lawn.
He'll stay outside, despite the cold,
  Until he sees the light of dawn.

Historically, hysterics have
  Been common in his family.
Uncle Peter was a priest.
  In homilies he'd damn a tree

That failed to make a feast of fruit
  Or sticks to beat the beast to hell
(Chased away, insisting he's
  Not hurt or in the least unwell).

He'd cook a flea or butterfly
  Who'd dearly love to book a flight.
You'd hear him mutter gratitude
  To God each time he took a bite

From sandwiches with slices of
  The butterfly or flea he'd cooked,
Blissfully oblivious to
  How bizarre he must have looked.

Many aunts and uncles have
  Exhibited a seasoned craze,
But Norman says the source of his
  Great fear lies in his childhood days.

His nanny always looked as if
  She had a little lamb to slay.
When he was only ten months old
  She took his much-loved pram away.

His tenure as an infant ended
  Instantly and he was left
To find his food and dine alone
  And then defend his room from theft.

He found that independent life
  And fending for himself was hard.
His solo expedition to
  The kitchen door was often marred

By fights with teddy bears on flights
  Of stairs and fast-inflating fears
When teddies made their threats to start
  A fire when they were wet with tears.

Baddies were defeated and
  The foes disguised as potted plants
Waited patiently to pounce
  But failed to halt his slow advance.

The cat who blocked the kitchen door
  Was kind enough to let him in.
She purred a lot of words about
  Returning to the vet again,

And how her friend's cavorting with
  An alley-cat who will be at
The park to fight a tabby in
  A tiny, tattered Trilby hat.

Norman listened as the cat
  Communicated her complaint
About the constant rain and staying
  In because of its constraint.

When he got away from her
  He crawled in through the kitchen door.
The cupboards high above his head
  Enthralled him as he crossed the floor.

The dog was there to lift him on
  A chair from where he reached the fridge.
His caring canine butler re-arranged
  The stools to make a bridge

That took him to the cooker and
  The cupboards for the pans and pots.
The butler got the cutlery
  And battled underhand robots

Who cut the tops off tins and cans
  That bled red beans and garden peas.
He signed a new peace treaty with
  The cat and chose to pardon fleas,

A truce that would allow the dog
  To concentrate on making sure
His miniature commander would
  Remain contented and secure.

Cutting coriander brought
  A risk that he would come to grief.
He could have suffered injuries
  While tenderising sirloin beef.

He managed to avoid a single
  Injury and he enjoyed
The meal he'd made. His garlic sauce
  Became a source of special pride.

His chocolate mousse dessert would not
  Disgrace a chef who strives for fame.
Norman would remain unknown.
  He couldn't even say his name.

He made a pot of tea for two
  And put a nice array of cheese
On china plates, with chocolate treats
  And crackers too, a tray of these.

The dog admired his master's traits
  When Norman asked him to sit down
Without commanding 'sit!' and then
  Responding only with a frown

If he played dead instead or stayed there
  Standing with a stupid grin.
The dog ate all the crackers and
  He put the crumbs into the bin.

A mouse believed the cheese was much
  More appetising than the mousse.
His journey to retrieve a piece
  Would terminate the pleasant truce.

Before he reached the table he
  Was spotted by the clever cat,
Who saw right through the sheep disguise
  And straightaway she smelled a rat.

She chased the mouse around the floor.
  The dog joined in to make them stop.
The mouse led his pursuers over
  Chairs and 'cross the table top.

Norman watched in horror as the
  Dinner plates were smashed to bits,
A loud symphonic medley of the
  Crockery's new Greatest Hits,

And into this cacophony came
  Noises of the pots and pans,
Falling to the floor where they formed
  Piles with flour and fruit and cans,

And all the other food knocked down
  With knives and forks and jars of jam.
Milk and honey mingled with
  The broken eggs and damaged ham.

A monumental mess was made.
  The mouse did not receive the blame.
Norman was accused of it.
  He tried his best to clear his name,

But no one understood him even
  Though the dog gave his support
For Norman's version of events
  In their informal kitchen court.

His parents didn't trust him
  In the kitchen till he turned eighteen.
And even then they only let him
  Heat a solitary bean.

This trauma is the source of his
  Aversion to the mice he hears.
He can't explain why ice cream cones
  Should trigger overwhelming fears.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Dinner With Friends

I like to spend free time with friends,
Like Hilda, Liz and Seamus.
We'll waste the days on long weekends
When Liz pretends she's famous.

She won't say no to photographs,
Signs autographs for children.
Her charity for slow giraffes
Supports her state of chilled Zen.

So she says in interviews
With make-believe reporters.
When old giraffes are sent to zoos
The judge in her cat court purrs.

She gets respect in trendy clubs
And restaurants where waiters
Would part a tiger from her cubs
And threaten alligators.

Seamus drinks and eats a lot.
He seems to take great pleasure
From cream-filled cakes. He greets a pot
Of stew as if it's treasure.

Of all the local restaurants
His favourite's in the castle,
Where Jack the ghostly jester haunts
And always causes hassle.

People leave when he performs
His jokes from times gone by,
When all these dining rooms were dorms
For men condemned to die.

The scarcity of customers
Means Seamus rarely waits.
He'll eat non-stop and trust a nurse
To help when he eats plates.

Before he sleeps he'd love a bit
Of beef washed down with stout.
In dreams he's seen Liz shovel it
Into his open mouth.

On some weekends we'll go for walks
On trails through vales and hills.
In woodland Hilda's nature talks
Provide delightful thrills.

While feeling overwhelming joys
From sounds the birds and bees make
And Hilda's words, we'd hear the noise
Of Seamus eating cheesecake.

We told him he was gluttonous,
That groans came from his ground.
We had his front door shut on us
The next time we called round.

He wouldn't speak to us for weeks.
We missed the jokes he told,
The lies about his friend who seeks
An Eskimo's lost gold.

He'd entertain us with his dance
When winter rain confined us
To a house. We loved his rants
Against past lives behind us.

Without us there to hear him talk
He'd much more time to eat.
There was no dance or nature walk
To activate his feet.

He put on weight. We had to act,
To eat some humble pie,
And stop him when he felt he lacked
An apple crumble high.

We made a massive chocolate cake,
So big it's marked on maps.
It made some folk feel shock and shake
In fear of its collapse.

'Sorry Seamus' were the words
We chose to write in icing.
Seamus cut the cake in thirds
With virtuoso slicing.

By giving us a slice he said
We'd solved our friendship's crisis.
His bites seemed bigger than his head
As he devoured his slices.

When he's with us he can't consume
Each frightened piece of food.
His dancing feet fight winter gloom
And leave a summer mood.

Very Slight Stories

Henry Seaward-Shannon

The East Cork Patents Office

The Tree and the Horse


Words are my favourite noises

Previous Poems

Poems from 2004
Poems from 2005



Gizmo's (Non)sense

Pretty Cunning

The Dossing Times


Cruiskeen Eile
Kevin Myers' blog (sorry, Colonel Kevin Myers).

The Chancer

Sinead Gleeson



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A Walk in the Rain

 | poetry from Ireland

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